President Bush knows how to deliver great speeches, and tonight was no different. Here are the highlights for me:
No global warming. This was a relief. He did not endorse the theory of human-induced climate change. He stuck to his guns. However, he did call for energy independence, research into alternative fuels, increasing the federal petroleum reserve, tapping our own rich oil deposits, and pursuing cleaner fuels (including Nuclear - thank you!) with a goal of decreasing our gasoline use by 20% in ten years. Excellent. Tough, but doable. And this will reduce our Mid East imports by 3/4ths. I'm all for it.
Healthcare. See prior post. BAD IDEA.
Immigration. I have no problem with guest worker programs, but I think priority should be securing the border FIRST, then we can work out a way for guest workers and what to do with our current illegal immigrants. Why would anyone oppose this?
Balanced budget. The key here was doing it WITHOUT raising taxes. I noticed that didn't get much applause from the Dems. Another thing that impressed me is that Bush's economy achieved it's goal of cutting the deficit by 50% 3 years ahead of schedule. It tells me that federal revenues are climbing. So you see, tax cuts DO lead to more federal dollars, and eventually the deficit disappears.
Iraq. This was a homerun. There is nothing he talks more passionately about than the war on terror, of which Iraq is the focal point. He refocused my thoughts on this, he reminded me that we are engaged in a long, global war, that we've had successes. 2005 was a good year, with many victories, but in 2006 the enemy fought back. They mounted a surprising and effective offensive. That's what enemies do in war. Does that mean we give up? No, because he also effectively outlined the consequences of defeat, and made it clear that defeat can't be allowed.
What struck me about this was one line: "Ladies and gentlemen: On this day, at this hour, it is still within our power to shape the outcome of this battle," the president said. "Let us find our resolve and turn events toward victory." Yes. This would be good. Turn events toward victory. The GOP stood to applaud, the Dems remained seated.
Let me type that again. The President said, "Let us find our resolve and turn events toward victory." And the Democrats did NOT applaud. Do they NOT want victory? It was one of the most shameful displays in Congressional history. But, of course, when he says "support the troops" I thought Nancy Pelosi was going to fall over the podium trying to be the first on her feet to applaud. The hypocrisy of it all is nauseating.
But, it's not just the Left. Here is a response from a Republican: Republican Sen. Norm Coleman of Minnesota, also took issue with Bush. "I can't tell you what the path to success is, but it's not what the president has put on the table," he said. So he has no ideas of his own, he just knows that Bush is wrong. Does this not define ignorance?
These were the key points. In addition, I was entertained by Dennis Kucinich as he pushed his way through the crowd to be at the front of the line. Does he give anyone else the creeps?
The shmoozing between Bush and Pelosi was too much. We all know you don't like each other, so stop acting like you do. But, at least they can be civil. I have to give them that much.
All in all, it was good. I feel, and have always felt, that Bush is a good person. He makes mistakes, but he's focused. He has America's best interest at heart and he's determined to do the right thing, for the most part, despite whatever criticism comes his way. I respect that, and I'll remember him in my prayers.